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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has disseminated their advisory statement on the use of talc in cosmetic products. The Advisory aims to provide the public with information on talc safety and ease the public’s fear in using cosmetic products containing the ingredient.

Talc is divided into two grades: Industrial-grade and Pharmaceutical/Food/Cosmetic-grade. Cosmetic-grade talc must not contain contaminants such as asbestos, a prohibited substance under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive. Furthermore, cosmetic grade talc is generally regarded to be a safe ingredient in cosmetic products worldwide.

Talc is allowed to be used in cosmetic products with the current requirements on the product labelling. At present, talcum powders used in children must be labelled with a warning that states, “Keep powder away from children’s nose and mouth” to avoid inhalation. This is in line with the product labelling requirements in the European Union (EU) and Canada.

The advisory said that all ASEAN countries will continue to monitor closely any new safety data related to the use of talc in cosmetic product and will take appropriate action and inform the public if necessary.